Reading the Signs

1

Aki runs ahead of me with her hind legs splayed out like both are in casts. It’s the only way she can make progress thanks to the collection of snow chunks, some bigger than golf balls, hanging onto the her fur. She has a similar collection on her chest and front legs. I’ve been struggling to make progress thanks to a buildup of snow on my ski bottoms. Were a pair to draw to, little dog, I think when something crashes through thin ice near the edge of Moose Lake.

2

At first I think that new snow sloughing off overhead branches made the noise. Then I spot a beaver, fur darkened by water, munching alder branches on another section of lake ice. These guys should be snug in their dens, waiting for ice out, if not night. But here they are exposed, eating as snowflakes melt on their backs. Is this a sign of the apocalypse, bad timing, or a failure to make a fall-time wood pile big enough to keep them in alder and cottonwood until spring?

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